Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.
The pandemic-driven pivot to working from home is changing America’s cities. Then: Coronavirus cases are easing. Is it okay to feel optimistic
It may not feel like it, but that video call you took in your pajamas is part of a new industrial revolution, Derek Thompson argues in his latest. And that shift to remote work has huge consequences for America’s big coastal cities.
1. The post-pandemic workplace could see a new kind of supercommuter.
“The remote-work revolution could spawn the rise of something a little different: the affluent supercommuter who chooses to move to a big exurban house with the expectation that she’ll make fewer, longer commutes to the office.”
2. Coastal superstar cities may decline.
“These migration trends could spell long-term trouble for cities such as San Francisco and New York, where municipal services rely on property taxes, sales taxes, and urban-transit revenue.”
3. And that may give the rest of the country a boost.
“Superstar pain could be America’s gain—not only because lower housing costs in expensive cities will make room for middle-class movers, but also because the coastal diaspora will fertilize growth in other places.”
4. The next Silicon Valley is nowhere.
[One weird] possibility is that the remote-work revolution will eliminate the concept of a metro hub entirely, as companies embrace the reality of a permanently distributed workforce.
Young people suffer the most in the work-from-home economy, Amanda Mull argued in our October 2020 issue.
Historically speaking, “lost city” narratives are a myth, writes Annalee Newitz, who has spent years studying ancient urban life.